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The conditional politics of class identity: class origins, identity and political attitudes in comparative perspective

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

  • Geoffrey Evans, University of Oxford
  • ,
  • Rune Stubager
  • Peter Egge Langsæther, University of Oslo

The sources, meaning and political implications of class identity are conditional on national context, reflecting the relative importance of cultural (status-related) versus economic (resource-related) influences on class identification. Unlike Danes, the majority of Britons continue to identify as working class. This difference between the two societies is robust across the span of 50 years of survey data analysed. It is unrelated to national variations in inequality, reflecting instead the far larger influence of an ascriptive source of identity, class origins, in Britain compared with Denmark, where current class remains the primary influence. The two societies in turn differ in the extent to which class identity is associated with economic or cultural politics. In Denmark, working class identification is associated with endorsement of redistribution, in Britain it is associated with opposition to immigration. High levels of working class identification in Britain therefore provide an augmented constituency for the radical right rather than the left. Supplemental data for this article can be accessed online at: https://doi.org/10.1080/01402382.2022.2039980.

TidsskriftWest European Politics
Sider (fra-til)1178-1205
Antal sider28
StatusUdgivet - 2022

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